Growing up in the Mountain Creek section of Rutherford County, Floyd Sims worked hard as a child. He remembers that at the age of ten he would get up early to plow the family’s cotton and corn fields until it was time to go to school, and then after school would come home and plow again until dark. He also sawmilled as a child. As a young man he worked in the cotton mill in Spindale, before embarking on what would be a forty-five-year career driving trucks.
Like many people who could not wait to get off the farm when they were young, Sims has found in later years that he misses some aspects of the rural life of his youth. Now retired Sims devotes much of his time and energy to taking care of his farm animals. In addition to a herd of cows and two donkeys, Sims keeps four Haflinger work horses, a breed that was introduced to the US from Austria in the 1950s. He also has a walking horse, whose last foal, a filly, was born in June 2009.
Though he uses a tractor for most of his day-to-day work, such as mowing the 75-80 acres of hay that he grows, Sims puts his horses to work for special events. With the Halfingers and an Oliver turning plow, he has plowed gardens and fields for the Mountain Gateway Museum and the McDowell County Saddle and Bridle Club. The Halflingers are good riding horses, he says, and he sometimes makes them available to local riding camps. Sims also demonstrates log and sled pulling with his horses, and lets the community use them in parades.
Floyd Sims is available to show his work horses for plow days, parades, and other events.